I finished my masters in Optics(5 years bachelors+masters together) recently. In the course I had to study subjects like Classical mechanics, Statistical Mechanics,Electrodynamics, Quantum physics and advanced mathematical courses during the first 2 years of the syllabus, just after schooling. These subjects are usually taught in Masters. I even undertaken 2 projects, only to get exposed myself that my ability to do problems are hardly improved during the course it was not how the course was designed. At the end of everything I truly feel that my fundamentals in both physics and mathematics are extremely poor.
It is essential that I improve my maths, I even feel like it is more of my area of interest rather than physics, so I was thinking of switching my field by taking a bachelors degree in pure mathematics(not permissible to directly to get admitted to Master’s in maths after Master’s in Optics in my country), via distant education as regular classes are possible for me. But mostly I am advised not to do it as I was told doing bachelors degree after my Masters will not be considered in a good way by the admission committee.
The things that I am particularly concerned are:
- By the time I finish my Master’s in Mathematics I’ll be 32 and without any prior project experience in the field, so will that adversely affect my chances of getting into a funded PhD program ?
- As I am doing or planning to do maths degree as distant education, will it affect getting into a funded PhD program ?
- If I could only do my bachelor’s and for some reason I could not do master’s, how will it affect if I try to apply for a PhD program in mathematics or in theoretical physics ?
See it is better to work in theoretical physics with whatever knowledge I have than being stuck by doing mathematics bachelors or masters degree in Mathematics. So that's what I am seriously concerned about as I really don't want to meet a dead end by trying to switch my field.
Or If I am going ahead with this plan, is there any way I can improve my chances of getting into a funded doctoral program in Europe, like taking foreign language or GRE subject ?
Note: I have attached a copy of the email I have sent enquiring my problem to one of my senior. I am truly sorry, Its bit long but I couldn't make it any shorter, atleast reading 1,2 paragraphs would give an idea about what I am confused about.